Guest Author – Dawn Moore.
I used to feel “really badly” for women who couldn’t conceive. Then I became one of them. I joined a group I didn’t want to be in, like some middle aged horror movie: Can’t see well anymore, can’t wear those clothes anymore, can’t laugh without peeing on yourself, and can’t have babies anymore … There are words you can say that describe the loss, the sorrow, the hurt, the blame, and the grief – but none of them really get close to how it feels for a woman to be not be able to make a baby if she wants one.
I had my first beautiful joy when I was 26 and my second gift from the heavens at 29. Easy pregnancies, easy deliveries – but a horrible marriage. At 31 I was a single mom. That was hard and awful and painful and lasted for years. Then I met Michael. He just sort of appeared one day. He found me, and my soul changed from hopeful and tired to blessed and grateful. He adores my children and they him. It’s been a lovely journey, I have very little to want for now.
Except that maybe we could have a baby? So three years ago …
Off I went: off birth control, off fast food, off toxins, off alcohol, and I did a detox and cleanse. I joined a cow-share and got me raw milk and some raw cream and some grass fed anything. I considered the fact that I was 37 a non- issue; lots of women have babies at this age, I’m not the only one. And most importantly I just figured it would be easy because I’d done it twice already. My great-grandmother had 13 babies – I could have 3.
A year after we started trying I figured I had to up my game. I started tracking ovulation, fertility, temperatures, hcg levels, best times to conceive, best prayers, best foods, and best zodiac signs to conceive in. I did yoga, hot yoga, bike riding, and praying. Ever have to check your pee first thing in the morning? Then if you’re “positive” for ovulation tell your husband that you’ll meet him back here sometime between 10 and midnight, unless of course one of you is tired, stressed, hungry, over-worked, or just drove 35 miles all over town for car pools, drum lessons, and dance rehearsals. No baby.
After two years I suggested my darling husband must have something wrong with him. So he was tested. He’s normal. Fine. Healthy. Plentiful. No baby.
Three years into it I gave up. I had gained 25 more pounds, had lost my desire to even have a child, and considered this game over. It’s easier to decide yourself you aren’t going to try anymore rather than let the universe tell you how it’ll be. I was depressed, angry, filled with sorrow and grief at the loss of a child I would never meet. I justified it all: I’m too old. I said I’d never have another one. I have two amazing kids, I don’t need another one. Michael loves our children and he agreed that he could live his whole life without a baby – he considers his step children his. Yeah – he’s that amazing. He really is. Ok, it’ll just be the four of us. No baby.
6 months ago I really decided to move on. I’m not having any babies and I am going to live, but not well in my current state. The 25 pounds needs to leave. They were not welcome. No grains and no sugars, total detox, hormone rebalance, and stress reducing homeopathic remedies later, I’m down 45 pounds. I’ve been taking my fermented cod liver oil, and my fridge is entirely full of grass fed everything: butter, oil, fat, milk, and sour cream. I’m in food heaven. I’m taking my liver, making my own ‘booch, fermenting my lemons, and grilling my wild caught sock-eye salmon from the Fish Hugger dude at the market. Life is tasty. Life is Nourished. No baby.
A month ago I’m thinking about how things always turn out for the best. I’m in a doctoral program, my kids are moving on to high school and middle school – there will be driving lessons and freshly painted rooms this summer. I may, on my current track, be a normal sized human again. I feel powerful and fabulous. Content. I sit in gratitude. My iPhone beeps at me: Your period is due today.
I waited until it was bedtime before I pulled out my very last pregnancy test. I didn’t wait until morning for the news that I was a dopey hopeful still. I just took it, like I had many, many times and a few hours before my friend my period showed up. OH, always so impatient am I. I have a big box o’tests for both ovulation and pregnancy why not just use it up and get rid of all of them? It’s hard to have a pregnancy test you’ll never use. One last test. Adios pressure! Adios crushing defeat! Adios worry! Adios! Adios! Adios! My heart cannot house you anymore. Wasn’t I just saying how I’m so over this?
I brought the stick with me to bed to make sure I could read it. The word “not” wasn’t showing up before the word “pregnant.” A baby?
So I sit in shock and total bewilderment. Michael on the other hand sits in total victory. He sits in honor and joy and excitement. A baby. Everything can turn on a dime, change in a minute, rock your world, blow your mind … and it did.
This winter we’ll welcome a baby!
I have books to read, liver to eat, midwives to schedule, rooms to add on the house, gardens to tend, and names to pick out. I’m busy. My life just turned on a dime. I still have a doctorate to complete, a house to run, and a career I like. But I’m having a baby too. The opportunity to do it all over again with wisdom and support is no small blessing.
For my mamas who have struggled with fertility, for those of us who are working to try alternative methods of conception, fostering, adoption, or just watching your neighbors’ babes: You are not alone. None of us should have to do this alone. We shouldn’t have to do the hard stuff, the exhausting stuff, the joyous stuff, or the family stuff alone.
Thanks to Dr. Russell Baum for explaining my liver to me, to Sandrine Love for her Nourishing Our Children materials/support/connection, to my farmer Albert for his amazingly high quality sacred foods, to yoga, to my friends, and my children who are going to make room in their hearts and in our tiny home for another one of us. To my husband, Michael, who is the dreamiest of men, husbands, fathers, and humans. It’s hard to make conscious journeys – physical or spiritual without absolute support of your partner. I’m grateful to make my journeys with him.
About Dawn Moore
Dawn is a 40 year old teacher, doctoral candidate, wife, mother, yogurt maker, chicken wrangler, and comedian on a web show called “Tales from the Coyote Salon.” Her work on this planet is primarily that of advocacy for children who don’t fit into the school system. She spends lots of time in her garden, with her little urban flock of chickens, reading, and generally frolicking with her amazingly high spirited kids. She is an excellent cook, is curious about most all things nutrition related, adores her husband, and is always looking for pretty necklaces. She is extraordinarily lucky, blessed, and happy to be wherever she is.
Note from Sandrine: Dawn has been one of our most passionate and consistent community supporters. I am grateful for her presence, which I experience as a cheerleader extraordinaire. She interviewed me for a radio show in 2012. Take a listen!